Summer valencia and other California citrus shipments are underway….Meanwhile, there is less acreage and growers of potatoes in Canada, but volume is maintained.
Navel orange shipments from California are finishing early as valencia orange loadings as will as lemons and other citrus are gearing up.
California primarily ships valencia oranges during the summer months with this season’s crop being moderate size, coming off of about 70,000 acres.
California navel orange shipments will end this month instead of their normal conclusion around the Fourth of July. In fact, navel loadings destined for the East Coast concluded with the beginning of June. California growers shipped 82 million cartons of navels this season, as compared to 94 million cartons in 2016.
Valencias are often referred to as the ‘summer orange’ since peak supplies are available June through September. Higher than usual valencia shipments are seen since navels are ending early.
Fewer California lemon shipments are seen this season. However, more imported lemons are seen coming from Chile, Argentina and South Africa for deliveries throughout North America.
Canadian Potato Shipments
Prince Edward Island continues to reduce its potato acreage, but remains the largest shipper of spuds in the country, according to Statistics Canada’s census of agriculture.
Island farmers planted 83,326 acres in 2016, down from 386,561 acres in 2011, but that was still close to a quarter of all the potato land in Canada. That number has dropped off in recent decades. Until 2005, the province was planting more than 98,842 acres a year.
The second biggest grower was Manitoba, at 67,672 acres.
While the number of acres grown was down just 3.7 per cent, the number of farms reporting was down significantly. In 2011, 300 farms reported potato fields and in 2016 that was down to 247.
That means the average potato farm is getting a lot bigger. In 2011 the average P.E.I. potato farmer put in 289 acres. In 2016 that was up to 338 acres.
Canadian Fruit Shipments
While shipments are not anything near Canadian potatoe shipments, fruit shipments are becoming a larger part of Island agriculture, with blueberry shipments leading the pack.
Acreage of fruit, berries and nuts were up 12 per cent between the two censuses, amounting to 14,388 acres. The huge majority of that, 96.5 per cent of it, was blueberries.
Apples also saw a significant increase, from 126 to 153 acres.
Overall, the number of farms on the Island fell 9.5 per cent, to 1,353.